Print To USB Printer From Your iPhone Or iPad

No Longer are we bound by AirPrint enabled printers.  Now we can print from our iOS device directly to any USB connected shared printer! If those two sentences made you squeal like a 12 year old high schooler, you should definitely read on.  There is a fantastic new application which allows our Windows based computer which is hooked up to a printer via USB to become our share and enable printing from our iPad or iPhone.  No more emailing links or documents.  No more Dropbox from machine to machine, just all out printing goodness from our mobile devices.

Why Am I Just Hearing About This Now

You might ask the above to yourself as you are reading this article and all I can say is, “You’re welcome.”  After you are done reading through this article hopefully you will be on the fast track to printing LOLcatz and whatever else you feel your room or office needs hanging from its walls.

In versions of iOS4.2 and above, there is a  “Print” button in both “Notes” and “Mail” which might have had some people wondering.  Initially it was made to utilize the AirPrint enabled printers so you could print off of your iOS device.  But now, a few crafty people of at elpamsoft.com have engineered some software to allow your Windows computer with a USB printer to act as an AirPrint enabled printer.

Setup And Installation

There are some stipulations in this procedure and with one of these in particular, it more than likely will not work for your device.  First, especially if you are trying to print from “Notes” or “Mail”, you have to have the print function which is in iOS4 and above.  Update your devices as much as possible to ensure greater compatibility with the software.  Also, you need to have no earlier than iTunes 10.1 installed on the installed system along with Admin rights to be able to configure and install the program.  The iPhone/iPad must be on the same network as the computer running the application meaning you will need to connect wirelessly with your home network and your iOS device to allow the printer and iOS device to talk correctly.  Finally, you must have the printer shared out on said computer for others to use.

Now go over to this website and download the ZIP file containing the program and patch files needed.  After a successful download and unpacking, double click on “AirPrint_Installer.exe” to begin the installation process.  It is a very straight forward install but when done you will have to also install the patch file accompanied in the download especially if you have a version of iOS5 as it made the program not function correctly.  Go back to the unzipped folder and now either click on “AirPrint iOS 5 FIX – 32Bit.reg” or “AirPrint iOS 5 FIX – 64Bit.reg” depending on which version of an OS you have on your computer.  If you are unaware of whether you have a 32 or 64 bit system, click on this link to show you how to check which version you have installed.  Double click the correct registry file and allow it to install.

After the initial installation and patch of the registry, go back and double check the AirPrint Installer and verify that the “Service Startup” is set to “Auto” and if it is not, change it to that.  Also, if you share out your printer and you see a Lock on it, you may need to enable the Guest account in Windows to make this work.  There are instructions on how to do that on the download page and in the Readme file in the unzipped folder.

Summary

You can print from any iOS device running iOS4.2 or greater from any USB installed printer!  This will enable you to print off notes, emails, or general internet banter quickly and without the use of a third party document transfer program.  As you have seen from above, it is quick and easy to accomplish in a matter of minutes and will make your life that much simpler.  Go install it now and reap the benefits(and laziness)!

What about you, loyal readers?  Do you have any niche iOS apps that make your life so much easier?  If so, please comment at the bottom and let all of us know.